Q&A: Trade Show Outlook on 2018

As we get ready to ring in the new year, trade-show organizers are starting to roll out some of their plans for 2018. We caught up with executives from several apparel and sourcing trade shows to find out what attendees and exhibitors can look forward to in the coming year—from parties and B2B activities to new venues and new layouts to new focus areas and amenities.

Mike Alic

Fashion Managing Director

UBM Fashion

As the global leader in fashion trade shows, UBM Fashion moves into 2018 with three key initiatives that focus on better serving the community of brands and retailers.

We have looked into each of our market segments to redefine, re-engageand reimagine the trade-show experience. With an ever-changing retail landscape, we have a duty to evolve the trade-show experience.

UBM Fashion is reimagining the fashion calendar in New York, making two key changes to create new and more efficient business opportunities for both brands and retailers and mirroring underlying trends in fashion and retail.

First, building on the importance of the women’s Spring and Fall fashion weeks, UBM Fashion will introduce an additional June pre-collections show starting June 2018 with Coterie at its core. Secondly, UBM Fashion is unifying the men’s and women’s contemporary apparel, accessories and footwear communities by creating the first dual-gender fashion trade show in New York. Creating one inspiring, unified market will enable brands and retailers to connect, discover new resources, and grow their businesses more effectively and efficiently than ever before. It allows for our brands that have men’s and women’s product to have a more impactful presentation, and it creates an easier shopping experience for the retailers. The event will take place at the Jacob Javits Center July 2018 with Project as its marquee show for both men’s and women’s lines.

Our second major focus is redefining the trade-show experience through merchandising, introducing new product categories and continuing to evolve the shows to create the most efficient and engaging experiences for our retailers. After a successful launch of Vintage@Intermezzo, which served as UBM Fashion’s first consumer-friendly fair, we plan to be back bigger and better for the January 2018 run, which will include a larger lineup of participating brands.

Beauty@Coterie will also continue as a new product category in 2018, featuring independent beauty brands. The addition of new categories to the Coterie floor creates opportunities for stores to evolve and differentiate themselves even further. Beauty and wellness-related products, which are growing in popularity and spending, are the perfect adjacency for Coterie apparel and accessories as it speaks to the full lifestyle of the women our stores serve.

FN Platform is also redefining its neighborhoods with the introduction of ON POINT for the February 2018 edition during MAGIC. ON POINT will boast on-trend, affordably priced footwear for women, men, juniors and children and will offer the largest selection of fast-fashion footwear in the world. This change represents the rebranding of WSA@MAGIC and folding that area into the FN PLATFORM floor as ON POINT.

Another exciting initiative at MAGIC in February, running across multiple shows within MAGIC, is a vastly expanded group of brands and buyers from Montréal—the No. 3 fashion city in North America, after New York and LA—as the result of a close partnership and collaboration with the mmode association. Mmode will also be creating special show-floor activations and lounges that will highlight the creativity of Montréal and add to the excitement of the show.

Lastly, as we aim to reinforce our commitment to giving back to the fashion community, we are excited to announce that UBM Fashion is partnering with Jeffrey Fashion Cares New York for its landmark 15th anniversary. Established in 2002 by Jeffrey Kalinsky, fashion and retail pioneer, Jeffrey Fashion Cares New York has raised more than $9 million for respected charity organizations supporting LGBT civil rights, HIV prevention and research, and education for LGBT youth. The event is set for April 11, 2018, and we’re proud to be a sponsor of this important fund-raiser.

An Ocampo

Brittany Carr

Trade Show Management

California Market Center

CMC is in the midst of an exciting transition period as previewed duringthe recent LA Markets and the LA Textile Show. Our buyers, showrooms and exhibitors experienced a changing marketplace marked by elevated show aesthetics and special-event programming, influencer panels, retail workshops, new amenities, and extended brand and product-category offerings that will continue into 2018. This dynamic momentum will increase throughout the new year as we roll out the many plans and upgrades new management has in store for the CMC and its shows.

The first significant announcement will take place soon, detailing our plans for a compelling, new show format, launching March 2018 in the Penthouse for LA Fashion Market, in which to optimally present exhibitors.

Additionally, the CMC is dedicated to helping buyers maximize their time at market, and we will unveil complimentary preshow and on-site tools and services we hope buyers will take advantage of. Examples of these resources include access to retail business insights contributed by our network of retail experts and consultants, essential trend information from our trend-forecast partners, customized brand roundups tailored for individual buyers by our buyer-relations team and much more to be announced.

Ed Mandelbaum


Designers and Agents

D&A is always reimagining the show experience for its exhibitors and buyers. This is the essence of what Designers and Agents brought to the trade-show arena many years ago.

Reviewing, revising and improving come naturally to us. The recent Spring 2018 show [in Los Angeles] is a perfect example of this. We looked at our production and wanted to examine the show’s dynamic and create the best atmosphere for each exhibitor and, as follows, our retail audience. The result was an entirely new layout and lighting design, which created an open floor plan and utilized the space to a greater advantage, as well as an energized atmosphere and a very enthusiastic response from both our buyers and exhibitors.

A trend that we are seeing and expect to continue through 2018 is a real increase in international brands from both Europe and Asia. D&A NY is an international show. Based on the success these international designers have had in building their business through the New York show, they are now eager to do the same in Los Angeles. We welcomed 38 new brands in the recent show [in New York], a good number of those from France, Italy and Peru. We see the trend continuing and are excited to bring these international designers to LA this first time.

Atmosphere, music, great food, creative integrity in our brands and ultimately good business have been the foundation of Designers and Agents. The idea of the trade show actually being a great experience is what we set out to do in the beginning and we have not lost sight of it—we are always looking to raise the bar.

Jennifer Bacon

Show Director

Texworld USA

Apparel Sourcing USA

We are incredibly excited to ring in the New Year with some refreshing plans for our shows. Jan. 22–24, at our winter edition of Texworld USA and Apparel Sourcing USA, attendees and exhibitors can look forward to three days of fabric sourcing, networking and education.

This year, we will be adding a new feature to our seminar schedule: “Explore the Floor.” These tours will allow attendees to walk through highlighted areas of the show floor with seminar speakers who are highly involved and knowledgeable in the textile industry. We feel that this new setup will allow attendees to ask detailed questions that specifically pertain to the industry topics that are seen on the show floor in a more intimate setting.

In July, our largest events—Texworld USA, Apparel Sourcing USA and Home Textiles Sourcing USA—will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors and continue to be the leading sourcing event on the East Coast. Our newest colocated show, Avanprint USA, will return featuring the newest innovations in digital printing for the textile and apparel market. The combination of all four shows offers a true insight into Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network’s No. 1 position in the textile industry.

Dee Gratz-Jones

Vice President, Apparel and Accessories Leasing

Dallas Market Center

For 2018, we are balancing new resources with stronger digital tools and timely inspiration. Just as buyers continue to demand more contemporary lines in Dallas they also want stronger technology platforms and quick trend information to make their market experience rewarding. It starts with having a strong set of contemporary exhibitors, and for 2018 we will continue to add more collections that resonate with our buyers.

In addition, we actively connect with buyers via social media, email reports, the Dallas Market Center app, on-site monitors, live events and seminars to deliver trend forecasting and networking opportunities. We know that buyers increasingly want to access information on the go and to share their discoveries.

Finally, it’s about the customer experience now more than ever. If we can help create an inspiring, motivating and efficient trip to Dallas market, then that’s a win for everyone.

Judy Stein

Executive Director

Swimwear Association of Florida/MiamiSwimShow

“The Collection” has been so well received by our exhibitors and buyers that we are excited to announce we will definitely be moving forward with it for 2018. This strategically placed, curated fashion environment, which is in the middle of the Miami SwimShow floor, is the perfect opportunity for discovering the best emerging and established trending boutique designer brands in the industry. Retailers are invited to experience this beautifully encased luxury oasis while enjoying champagne butler service, a VIP lounge area and free access to Wi-Fi (also available throughout the trade show).

Other special events surrounding the upcoming 2018 SwimShow will be seminars specifically geared to both our exhibitors and retailers; Swim Lounge Happy Hour, an evening cocktail reception; and our daily breakfast bar and afternoon high-tea service, allowing for networking. We will continue incorporating amenities such as a dry and braid bar, nail salon for quick touch-ups, henna bar, massage bar and up-to-the-minute social-media engagement plus some fabulous new surprises for our buyers, vendors and media guests.

Caron Stover

Vice President of Apparel Tradeshow Sales

Atlanta Apparel

Atlanta Apparel is all about the experience, and in 2018 it’s going to be better than ever. Buyers from across the nation and around the world will enjoy an elevated market experience with treats, drinks and pampering at every turn—plus headlining events designed to captivate, educate and entertain. Thoughtfully designed networking opportunities for buyers—including market kickoff parties—will get bigger and better at every market while Atlanta Apparel’s creative team pushes the limits on must-see runway shows and fashion presentations.

The updated market experience complements a fashion marketplace of the brands, designers and products that fashion-forward retailers expect. The celebrated trade-show collection continues its unmatched growth trajectory as it presents a larger and larger collection of trend-driven contemporary apparel, shoes and accessories. The permanent collection continues to reinvent the showroom experience as it explores new ways to showcase longtime Atlanta Apparel exhibitors and new-to-Atlanta lines.

Throughout 2018, Atlanta Apparel will continue to improve the shopping experiences before, during and after markets. Expanded social-media and digital offerings plus inspirational at-market presentations will highlight he latest trends in sharable settings. New market dates, shifting more toward weekdays, allow retailers to connect with the brands they want to see when it best fits their schedules.

2018 is set to be a stellar year for Atlanta Apparel. Retailers and manufacturers will not want to miss it.

Henri Myers

Cofounder and Creative Director

COEUR Tradeshow

COEUR Tradeshow will continue to grow its brand as a new “neighborhood” within Project Womens Las Vegas. After a very successful first season, we are excited to return to the UBM show as COEUR x Project Womens and also will be strategically featured in the launch of their Project New York showcase in 2018.

Hillary France

CEO and Cofounder

Brand Assembly

Brand Assembly’s trade shows are developing at an exciting pace, furthering our mission to bring curated, quality brands to buyers across the United States in beautiful, fun and forward-thinking environments. We are closing out 2017 having launched shows in two new cities this year, New York and Dallas, in addition to expanding our LA show into a secondary location to accommodate brand participation.

In 2018, we will continue to show in all three cities while focusing on elevating the experience and presentation, taking into account how the buying landscape continues to evolve. We have noticed increased buyer interest in categories beyond fashion, which we intend to explore. We’ve had great success in developing partnerships with fashion-complimentary brands and organizations, which have created activations that continue to diversify our shows’ experience and offerings.

This past year also saw the launch of an exciting talk series with industry leaders in LA and New York with participants including The Zoe Report, Goop, Kirna Zabete, Jenni Kayne and Ann Shoket.

Additionally, we continue to enhance our amenities and accommodations to make getting to and being at our shows enjoyable and rewarding.

In addition to our shows, all are welcome to tour The Brand Assembly Square in New York and Los Angeles. These are year-round co-working spaces for brands and creatives passionate about fashion. Of course our initial Brand Assembly offering of back-office services inclusive of logistics and order management as well as bookkeeping for fashion brands continues to thrive.

Lastly, keep an eye out for the next issue of The Assemblist Magazine. Launched earlier this year, the publication was created to highlight the developments in our community in a fun, vibrant format. We release it each season and reach across the industry for content.

Of course all of these initiatives and rollouts are part of the Brand Assembly mission to be the platform for young and established fashion brands to grow successful businesses.

Desiree Hanson

Vice President of Fashion

Urban Expositions, WWIN

We know that our retailers and vendors alike are always looking for “new”—new lines, new introductions, new customers, new business and networking opportunities. They will find them all at WWIN in 2018. Buyers can expect to find even more new, emerging companies joining the ranks of top lines and brands in every category—contemporary, misses, petite, plus, tall and accessories. In addition, they will see the fresh new look we have given to our popular Fashion Showcase and Mannequin preview display areas in the show lobby and walkway as well as more available seating throughout the show. Every buyer attending WWIN will get a glimpse of what they can expect to see on the show floor, offering merchandising ideas throughout all four days of the show.

To help them plan for their buying trip and get an advance look at some of these new lines and intros, we’ve launched two new preshow tools, our “Behind the Brand” features and the new “Look Book.”

Available on the show website, “Behind the Brand” takes a more detailed look at a number of our exhibitors’ offerings and company highlights while our new digital “Look Book” will tell a visual story—showcasing exhibitors’ latest designs and collections that buyers can expect to see for the upcoming season.

New for February, the Waldoff Group’s Rita Mitchell-Waldoff—a friend, devotee and associate of WWIN’s beloved long-term presenter T.J. Reid—will take over for Reid, who retired after the August 2017 edition. Rita will take the reins to continue to bring a handful of idea-packed workshops to the show. Specializing in retail merchandising, event planning, trend commentary and fashion journalism, Rita’s programs will arm retailers with the tools and ideas needed to maximize sales and business opportunities.

Tuesday is a great day for retailers to save at WWIN with our new “Terrific Tuesday” promotion putting a spotlight on exclusive offers exhibitors will be featuring on Tuesday, Feb. 13 only. From show specials and shipping/merchandise discounts to booth giveaways/raffles and more, retailers won’t want to miss the savings this season.

What’s more, the show’s most-popular buyer amenities return this February, inviting retailers to enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments each day, providing a cost-effective, convenient way to shop the show floor. On Monday, Feb. 12, buyers can enjoy wine and cheese while shopping and networking with their vendors in a relaxed, fun atmosphere as show hours are extended until 8 p.m. on opening day.

Gilles Lasbordes

General Manager

Première Vision

First, in terms of offerings, in 2018 we are going to go on developing and strengthening our manufacturing-sourcing proposals. The strategy is to enrich the sourcing offer in terms of geographical regions as well as market segments and product specificities.

At the Parisian shows (Feb. 13–15, 2018) alongside Première Vision Manufacturing, the show of fashion manufacturing specialists from the Euro-Mediterranean basin and the Indian Ocean, we are reinforcing the integration of the Asia-Pacific specialized space “The Sourcing Connection,” which completes our sourcing offerings, helping to cover all the world’s supply zones for textiles and apparel.

Also, we will develop the space for leather goods and footwear markets, Bag & Shoe Manufacturing, located inside the leather show Première Vision Leather.

This [effort] to develop the manufacturing and sourcing offerings at the Parisian shows is also something we are going to reinforce at our international shows in New York (Première Vision New York, Jan. 16–17, 2018) and Istanbul (Première Vision Istanbul, March 21–23, 2018).

In terms of commitments, we are also going to reinforce our activities toward more responsible fashion with roundtables on the subject within our Smart Creation program at Première Vision Paris but also through a specific ambassador we will welcome at the next Première Vision New York edition.

For our American show, we have decided to work together with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to invite a special guest designer as our ambassador. In January, it will be Maria Cornejo ( She is very committed to responsibility in fashion and works with local manufacturers in New York.

Last September, we invited her to come to Première Vison Paris. There we launched a new award, the Fashion Smart Creation Prize, as part of our annual PV Awards. Maria Cornejo [will work with] the winner, Schoeller Textiles, to create silhouettes, which will be produced in New York and presented at an exhibition during the next Première Vision New York.

Meanwhile, for our next Première Vision Paris show, we are also going to set up a wider and more developed Wearable Lab space, the platform dedicated to inventiveness and forward thinking to examine and support the future of Fashiontech (the “augmented” fashion of technologies). We launched this platform last February at Première Vision Paris.

For the February 2018 edition, it will grow bigger and run along an exhibition of inspiring experimental works testifying to the fast-moving developments on the Fashiontech scene. [There will also be] a showroom presenting startups and companies displaying their latest innovations and future goals while proposing true future partnerships to the professionals (exhibitors and visitors) present at the show. We will add a place dedicated to smart materials and R&D, and a cycle of talks and conferences will animate the three days of the show.

At all our shows, along with the business part, many events will take place to create connections and thinking among the industry.

We also have announced the launch of our new Première Vision Marketplace beginning in the second semester of 2018. In an ever more connected and technological world, Première Vision is already positioning itself to meet future market developments. Marketplaces have conquered the B2C markets by integrating e-commerce sites. This technology offers new business opportunities to professional markets as well. Drawing on its longstanding relationship with the fashion industry, Première Vision’s Marketplace aims to accompany the profound changes in an industry seeking accelerated product renewal and a shorter time to market. The Première Vision Marketplace will first concern the Première Vision Paris show but quickly [expand to] all sectors and international shows.

Roy Turner

Senior Vice President and Show Director

Swim Collective, Active Collective

Heading into its eighth year, the Swim Collective has found its new home at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California. The Swim Collective will feature more than 300 swimwear, resortwear, boutique, surf and accessories brands. In addition to the many great swimwear brands, our new home has allowed us to bring together the Swim Collective and Active Collective trade shows. Colocating the two shows allows us to offer retailers more brands than ever before, all under one roof.

The Swim Collective and Active Collective is a two-day show held Jan. 11–12, 2018. Retailers, exhibitors and media are invited to join us on the evening of Show Day 1, Jan. 11, for a networking event and happy hour, held in the Buyer’s Lounge of the show floor. We look forward to seeing you in January!

Lucía Palacios

Apparel Sourcing Show Coordinator

Guatemala Apparel & Textile Association

As more people are turning into e-commerce and online businesses, the supply chain and sourcing strategies also vary to meet our main buyer demands. The exhibition floor focuses on supply chain and being able to add technology to improve productivity, flexibility and innovation. Attendees will find the matchmaking meeting program to be a useful tool for potential buyers to meet one-on-one with apparel manufacturers specifically [selected according to] product and quantities. Potential buyers can also apply for an airline ticket to visit the show.

Hisham and Kari Muhareb


NW Materials Show

NE Materials Show

SoCal Materials Show

The NW and NE Material Shows are situated in the two main athletic and outdoor clusters—Portland, Ore., and the Boston area in Massachusetts—[home to] the dominant large companies and hundreds of emerging small to medium-sized players. These events attract decision-makers from around the world to exhibit and to source materials and components.

In February 2018, we will be celebrating our 50th show. We hope you will join us to celebrate our 25th year in business. In addition to the large exhibit area, the NW Materials Show will be offering a new “Trend Area” to check out as well as the Peclers Paris Trend and Color Presentation for the upcoming season.

Exhibitors and attendees will also enjoy complimentary lunch, coffee and tea during show hours.

Roy Turner

Vice President and Show Director

Surf Expo

Our January show, which kicks off Surf Expo’s 42nd year, will showcase apparel, hard goods and accessories from 10 product categories all relating to water—whether it’s an ocean, lake, pool, river or canal—and the beach lifestyle and mindset.

The focus of the January show each year is surf hard goods, and we pay tribute to our surfing roots. We showcase the art of surfboard shaping with the annual Florida Shape-off, which takes place on the show floor with top East Coast shapers going head-to-head to replicate a board from an iconic shaper.

We’re also proud to host the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame’s 2018 ceremony to induct 11 East Coast legends into the Hall of Fame.

Our attendees really look forward to these and other events and happy hours to catch up with peers, network and celebrate the industry we’re all fortunate to be a part of.

We’ll also be releasing our Professional Learning Labs schedule this month. These free seminars are held on the show floor for buyers and exhibitors and are given by industry leaders and experts. They are designed to arm our attendees with learning that can positively impact their business and help them stay competitive.

It’s going to be another great show.

Stephen Krogulski



2018 is going to be a transformative year for small boutiques, department stores and e-retailers alike. It’s no surprise consumers have different habits and shopping needs than they did just a few years ago. To help retailers enhance their approaches, the OFFPRICE show plans to offer exhibitors and attendees a variety of new opportunities for education and networking.

In 2018, OFFPRICE will offer even more seminars and presentations by staff and guest speakers at upcoming shows. These events will help retailers of all experiences learn about industry trends and news, improve their business strategies and get insider tips to navigating the show.

Guests of the upcoming OFFPRICE show this Feb. 10–13 in Las Vegas will experience the Networking Hub, a new area of focus on the show floor. Attendees and exhibitors can take a break from buying to post photos on the Social Screen, a living mosaic wall of real-time social-media posts, for a chance to win prizes. The Networking Hub will also have snacks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, comfortable sitting areas, an OFFPRICE app display, and much more.

With more than 500 vendors coming to our February show, buyers can count on finding new treasures. Our industry’s fast-fashion merchandise means every show is a unique buying experience for retailers.

During after-show hours, our guests will be able to enjoy OFFPRICE-only promotional offers at select Las Vegas restaurants and bars. One of our clients’ most popular bars will host the OFFPRICE Opening Night Party. Follow the OFFPRICE show on social media for promotional announcements from now until the February show.

Every retailer can benefit from an off-price strategy. It’s more important now than ever for smart retailers to incorporate off-price merchandise into their mix, boost profit margins, and offer customers the styles and prices they’re looking for.

Check back with OFFPRICE after the first of the year for exciting upcoming opportunities you won’t want to miss. Visit for registration and additional details.

Aaron Levant



Agenda turns 15 in January, and we are celebrating with the return of our B2C Agenda Festival, which launched last July. After the successful launch of the Summer Agenda Festival, we are adding biannual Agenda Festivals following each Agenda B2B show. Held immediately following the two-day Agenda B2B show in Long Beach, Calif., the next Agenda Festival will be held Jan. 6. We’re making this one bigger, badder, and curating a great selection of new brands and talent.

Suzanne De Groot

Executive Director

Fashion Market Northern California

Fashion Market Northern California is excited about our plans for 2018. Our exhibitors will start the year off with a calendar of our beautiful past show directory covers with show dates and events.

We will also honor buyers who visited all five shows with a fabulous gift—this year that list exceeds 100. We will continue our Frequent Buyer program, rewarding those who attend a show all three days with surprise gifts.

Our speaker series has been well received, and we plan to continue to bring in talented speakers to educate and inform our buyers. We will continue our late night “Happy Hour” to encourage our buyers to stay and shop one evening.

We hope to add a fashion show and another barbeque and will continue to update the appearance of the show floor. There are also food concession changes that we know the buyers will be thrilled with.

We are the largest open-booth format show on the West Coast and because of that and the ease of shopping, the number of buyers, as well as exhibitors attending, continues to grow.

Andrew Olah



Kingpins Transformers, our panel discussion on key issues in the denim industry, will come to New York on June 5 with the focus on traceability. In addition, Kingpins will continue to work with “Denim Dudes” author and forecaster Amy Leverton to bring denim trends to all our shows.

The other new element will be the Kingpins Curiosity Shops, which will be our first retail shops selling denim curiosities to all the denim lovers who come to our show.